MY RETURN TO ART AFTER 26 YEARS
I graduated from the University of Guelph with a Fine Art Major in 1980, however as the years passed, I'd actually forgotten that I possessed the ability to paint because of my battle with MS. As a matter of fact, with the way my brain was working, I didn't have any idea that I would ever make art again – until an improvement in my health began 26 years later, around 2007. And then I began to paint a bit.
In 2008, traveling to China with my husband became almost a kick-start-art-creating event for me. Although the trip was an arduous journey, with airport delays, lost luggage, and endless climbings of steps, I took thousands of photos with my digital camera, and voila, had subject matter to paint for decades. (See some of my china paintings on this website. My trip blog is at, chinainjune.blogspot.ca.
Painting realistically from my own photographs was always my comfort zone, but I was never one to stay in a comfort zone. I loved making sculpture and had done a lot of it in school – but a home was no place for a sculpture studio! So I tried different methods of creating a bas-relief type of effect on my canvasses until I fell upon using my old jewellery for texture. A pair of earrings is notorious for becoming ONE earring, so that’s what I started with.
This process has become my favourite type of art making because it makes use of my full creative juices!
I’d had a lot of years of being a very withdrawn person (I’m blaming that on the MS too!) and it was not until many years later that I began showing these textured “upcycled paintings” to some of my artist friends. They loved them, I loved making them and they're now becoming very well loved by the public.
One of my life's discoveries is: If you're an artist inside, it will eventually come out of you - no matter what struggles you go through, no matter who discourages you, no matter where you happen to be, no matter how long it takes.
AWARDS and SHOWS:
1980 Heinz Jordan Scholarship for art, from the University of Guelph
2009 Pauling Manning Award for “Chinese Tricycle” at the Contemporary Art Society’s Juried Show at the Public Archives downtown Halifax, NS
2009 Honourable Mention for a mixed media piece “Three Boats”.
2010 The Mayor’s Award (at the Contemporary Art Society’s Juried Show at the Public Archives (downtown Halifax, NS) for “Tricycle with Bamboo” (a full-sized print of that painting now resides in the Mayor’s office).
2013 Group show at the Dartmouth Heritage Museum (2 abstracts)
2014 Group show at the DART Gallery, Dartmouth (1 abstract)
2016 Parkland at the Lakes month-long group display (10 art pieces - 6 abstracts and 4 oil pastels)
2016 People’s Choice Award for “Lewis Head Beach” with the Dartmouth Visual Art Society
2009-12 Showed and served with the Contemporary Art Society, Halifax, NS
2012-now Showing and serving with Dartmouth Visual Art Society (2-4 shows per year)
2015- Lady Luck Boutique sells my greeting cards
2017- being represented by Visual Voice Fine Art in Truro, Nova Scotia
2018 - May - first dual solo show at Visual Voice Fine Art in Truro Nova Scotia
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID:
"I just came from a full visit to your blogpost of March 21, "Why make mixed-media art, you ask?" That blogpost has BEAU-TI-FUL visuals, and very well turned text! Loved reading it; if you composed it yourself, you're a natural at writing. I also checked out some of your earlier blogposts - your portraits are perfect and showing a very pleasant personal style, just as your different style for your flowers - just wow on everything. Did I mention your upcycled art?! Definitely requires another mention - It's awesome. All the pieces on that blogpost. You obviously have strong esthetic knowledge and ability. You've got a very solid body of artwork." Rachelle Valéri
"You are a creative soul!!!"
"Your development as an artist is amazing. I love seeing the process and the challenges along the way."
"Went through your studio visit (art blog) and I like not only the art but especially the names of your creations!!! Creativity with words!! Made me smile!!"
"I love this painting, Northumberland Strait Evening. I can just about smell the salt air when I look at it!"
"You have some very beautiful artwork here. Thanks for sharing."